Substances Changing: Reaction on Heating

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These downloadable videos and animations are part of the multimedia package Stuff and Substance, developed by the Gatsby Science Enhancement Programme (SEP). They can be used to develop the idea of chemical change by showing a reaction that takes place on heating to a higher temperature.

These resources cover the reaction between magnesium and oxygen. When heating magnesium in the open air the consumption of oxygen is not directly observable. Many students find the traditional experiment of monitoring mass changes difficult to interpret, especially if they think ‘gases’ such as oxygen have no mass. The approach here is novel, in that pure oxygen is held within a plastic bag attached to a test-tube containing magnesium. One video shows the bag collapsing as the magnesium reacts. The animations represent the changes of substances in terms of atoms and give practice at constructing a word equation. Other videos contrast heating magnesium and copper in the open air.

These video and animation files form part of the resources in the section Substances Changing in the Stuff and Substance multimedia package, which provides a series of interactive pages that can be used by teachers or students in the classroom.

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